Tuesday – a hug and a memory

A colleague hugged me today just out of the blue. I think it came as much of a surprise to him as to me. A genuine expression of thanks and relief that reminds you how we’re all human and living in our own little pool of worries. 

I’d done some research sessions a few weeks ago, standing in for a colleague and then stored them away for when they were ready to pick up and analyse. That much they knew. What they didn’t know is that I had already transcribed the sessions so they could get straight into analysing the text and grabbing important quotes. And that’s what triggered the hug, the relief that the transcription work was already done and they were several hours ahead. 

Morae Mornings tracker board

The next day the picture above popped up in my “On this day” feed that reminded me of how painful the time needed to do this work can seem. I’d done 24 x 3 hour long sessions with participants and the picture shows my “Morae mornings” whiteboard that I used to track the transcription and coding work. You can see on that day I estimated another 176 hours remaining… and can imagine just how gigantic that task felt.

Looking through my pictures on later days, it’s clear the pain focused my mind to find more efficient ways of approaching the task, something I’ve continued to do as I’ve gained experience as a user researcher in the non academic world. I was privileged to have that time to think about but I know some researchers feel the pain of note taking or transcription of sessions just like I did back in my PhD days. There doesn’t seem to be much help out there for this problem so I’ll pick it up and share some ideas and practice in the next couple of weeks.  

Saturday – Tourism parkrun for swim runners

Selby parkrun water feature

Headed south this Saturday for Selby parkrun, out on the Burn airfield. It’s not run for a couple of weeks due to the course being underwater in many places, but this week, the organisers checked the course on Friday and confirmed it was runnable with only a few puddles to avoid. But… and it was a big but… to get to the course there was a puddle of monstrous proportions to wade through. Bring your wellies! 

I’ll confess I thought the warning was a little melodramatic but they were absolutely right, it was a huge puddle that called for a wet suit! But we settled for wellies, waded through and changed into trainers for the run leaving a long line of wellies by the parkrun flag. 

The Selby course is a nice run. It’s out and back, clear fresh air and rounded off with a big breakfast with my parkrun buddy, set the weekend off just fine. 

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